Animal Viruses and Humans, a Narrow Divide: How Lethal Zoonotic Viruses Spill Over and Threaten Us

November 1, 2020
Animal Viruses and Humans, a Narrow Divide: How Lethal Zoonotic Viruses Spill Over and Threaten Us

"Frighteningly fascinating."—Booklist"Gripping stories, filled with details that are in equalpart delicious and disgusting, but always fascinating."—LisaSanders, MD, author of Every Patient Tells a Story and the New YorkTimes Magazine "Diagnosis" column“To reproduce promiscuously and to wreak havoc wherever they canfind a home,” this is the sole raison d'être of viruses writes Dr.Warren Andiman, an HIV/AIDS researcher who has been on the frontlines battling infectious diseases for over forty years. In AnimalViruses and Humans: A Narrow Divide, Andiman traces the history ofeight zoonotic viruses —deadly microbes that have made the leapdirectly from animals to human populations: Middle East RespiratorySyndrome (MERS), Swine influenza, Hantavirus, Monkeypox, SevereAcute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Rabies, Ebola, and Henipaviruses(Nipah and Hendra). He also illustrates the labor intensive andfascinating detective work that infectious disease specialists mustdo to uncover the source of an outbreak.Andiman also looks to the future, envisioning the effects onzoonoses (diseases caused by zoonotic viruses) of climate change,microenvironmental damage, population shifts, and globalization. Hereveals the steps that we can, and must, take to stem the spread ofanimal viruses, explaining, “The zoonoses I've chosen to writeabout . . . are meant to describe only a small sample of what isalready out there but, more menacingly, what is inevitably on itsway, in forms we can only imagine.”Warren Andiman, MD is professor emeritus of pediatrics andepidemiology at the Yale Schools of Medicine and Public Health.